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Life, culture and quirkiness beyond the tunnel

We understand that Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick and the editorial writers at The Oregonian were disappointed by last Thursday’s news that Nike will expand its Beaverton campus rather than break new ground in Portland. But did they really need to engage in a round of suburb-bashing to salve their bruised egos?

Novick started the sour gripefest with this comment, which the daily paper used as a punch line in a Friday story:

"With all due respect to Beaverton and the surrounding area, I'm still convinced that the most creative, the hippest and the coolest new Nike employees will choose to live in Portland — and take light rail out there.”

The Oregonian chimed in with this little jab in a Sunday editorial: “Portland has a creative vibrancy that no Washington County community can match.”

The paper’s slight is to be expected — The Oregonian brass has always viewed the suburbs as an afterthought. But we expect more from Novick, one of the "hippest and coolest" policy wonks to join the Portland council in a long time. So, in the spirit of re-education, we offer these examples of WashCo Cool for Novick (and any prospective Nike employees).

Hungry? The Mad Greek Deli at 185th Avenue and West Union Road began serving up its famous sandwiches and Greek fries (don't try calling them French fries!) when Novick was in junior high. The place is funkier (and more authentic) than any hipster hangout on Southeast Hawthorne.

The best burger in the metro area? Oregonian food critic Michael Russell says it’s right here in Washington County, at the Helvetia Tavern.

And, if you want to go upscale, you can get Pearl District quality and ambience (at half the price) at Bethany’s Table (Bethany Village), Decarli’s (Beaverton), Stecchino and 1810 Main St. Bistro (Forest Grove) and Syun Izakaya (Hillsboro).

Need your daily grind? We’ve got scores of independent java joints (and our own English-major baristas), including Ava Roasteria (downtown Beaverton and Progress Ridge), Symposium (Sherwood and Tigard), Insomnia Coffee (Hillsboro), BJ’s and the artistically eclectic Maggie's Buns (Forest Grove).

Disc golf? We’ve got six courses. McMenamins? We clock in at seven.

We’ve got a dozen farmers’ markets (and real farmers), plus the Tuesday Marketplace in downtown Hillsboro.

You want weird? We’ve got a bigger-than-life fast-food family inexplicably living on the edge of Hillsboro's Shute Park, a 26-foot-tall rabbit in Aloha and the world’s largest barber pole in Forest Grove.

Culture? We’ve got a pair of professional theaters (Bag&Baggage in Hillsboro, Broadway Rose in Tigard) a dozen galleries and live music every night. Plus two words you may be unfamiliar with: “free parking.”

If you need a place to live, Orenco Station is widely considered to be the most successful transit-oriented development in the country. And next month Holland Residential is opening Platform 14, an upscale condo/apartment complex just down the block, complete with a BBQ-equipped sky deck and community garden.

The sheer range of housing options within easy walking distance from this single light-rail station is greater than that found near any MAX stop in Portland.

We know you like soccer, and so do we. But if you want to see pro baseball in the metro area, you’ll need to head through the tunnel and watch the Hops and listen to announcer Rich Burk who last called games for … who was it? Oh yeah, the Beavers, the team Portland let get away.

Finally, if you need a haircut, head out to Brick's Barber — a very quirky tonsorium (beer for patrons, a barber in a chicken outfit) that recently re-located to Tigard from a nearby suburb of Washington County known as Portland.




Local Weather

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Forest Grove

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Humidity: 90%

Wind: 6 mph

  • 16 Apr 2014

    Showers 57°F 47°F

  • 17 Apr 2014

    Rain 54°F 41°F